Welcome to Lake Taupo Region


The last major cataclysm was in AD 180, shooting enough ash into the atmosphere for ancient Romans and Chinese to record unusual skies. The area is still volcanically active and, like Rotorua, has fascinating thermal hot spots.

Today the 622-sq-km lake (about the size of Singapore) and its surrounding waterways attract fishing enthusiasts from around the world who visit to snag trophy trout. Positioned by the lake, both Taupo and Turangi are popular tourist centres. Taupo, in particular, has plenty of activities and facilities catering to families and independent travellers alike.


Top experiences in Lake Taupo Region

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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Lake Taupo Region activities

$154.13 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Taupo Adventure Combo: Jet Boat Ride and Whitewater Rafting

Your fun-filled, multi-thrill experience of the North Island’s natural spoils will give you the experience of your life. With knowledgeable, friendly and professional guides, you’ll see all angles of Taupo, approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of RotoruaWith this option, your experience begins with the jet-boat ride. Then brave the Tongariro River by whitewater raft! Enjoy a 2-hour rafting experience that combines the heart-pumping action of more than 60 rapids with plenty of calm water where you can sit back and take in the splendid scenery and wildlife.All equipment needed, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off from selected hotels, are included to ensure you have a carefree day of adventure!

$34.48 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Maori Rock Carvings Sailing Trip in Taupo

Taupo's Maori Rock Carvings are possibly the largest of their type in the world and are a must-see attraction, only accessible by boat. We have been offering sailing cruises to these carvings for over 30 years. Soak up the sun or roll up your sleeves; you can take the wheel, help hoist the sails or just sit back and enjoy the view. You’re guaranteed amazing photo opportunities as you experience one of life’s postcard moments. You can even bring your own food and beverages. Things really couldn’t get more Kiwi. The boat is equipped for all conditions; if the wind dies down, our eco-friendly electric engine will kick in. When the wind is up, you can enjoy sailing without salty sea-spray and noisy outboard motors. Warm ponchos are supplied.

$32.37 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Maori Rock Carving Cruise from Taupo

Your trip will take you from the Taupo Marina along the northern shores of Lake Taupo and on to Wharewaka Point (4 mile bay). From here we cross the main bay of Tapuaeharuru out to Rangatira Point and on to beautiful Mine Bay where we will see the famous Maori rock carvings. As you travel along Mine Bay you will notice a ledge 111 feet (34 m) above the water line where the lake level was thousands of years ago. The return trip back to the harbor is along the western shoreline past picturesque Acacia Bay. Morning departures feature tea or coffee and a hot muffin to warm you up and afternoon departures have a fishing demonstration. Passengers are welcome to participate in a brief bit of fishing after the demonstration, but must hold a valid Taupo fishing license (see Additional Info for more details).The Lake is 25 miles (40 km) long, 18 miles (30 km) wide and 610 feet (186 m) at its deepest point. The surface area is 388 square miles (625 square km). Many hot water areas can be seen along the northern and southern ends of the lake and a natural hot water beach runs along the lake front of the Taupo Township. These springs occur naturally as a result of the volcanic fault line which forms part of the Pacific Volcanic fault. Vertical features in the rock formations caused by heat dissipation can be clearly seen in Kaiapo bay. The heat fractures pushed around to form a fan in the volcanic core in Whakaipo bay which is exposed due to the drop in the eastern side of the Crater Lake. The Maori rock carvings were commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council in 1980 and were created by members of the local Tuwharetoa tribe to represent many of their legends. The carvings feature mostly ‘Taniwha’ the protectors of the Lake whose power extends to include the island of Motutaiko where many tribal chiefs are buried. From here, we return back to the Lake Taupo Boat Harbor.

$95.01 Water Sports

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride from Taupo

Meet your jet-boat driver in Taupo and get ready for the ride of your life to New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, Huka Falls! Your professional and friendly driver will take you on a 30-minute jet-boating adventure on the Waikato River, complete with 360-degree turns and spins.Speeding past cliff faces and native forest, your whitewater adventure by jet-boat takes you to the mighty Huka Falls, for a front-row view of the country’s most dramatic falls as they thunder into the river.Listen to an entertaining and informative commentary while you enjoy 30 minutes of jet-boating fun!

$20.41 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Maori Rock Carvings Sailing Tour

At the Taupo Marina, join a professional crew for a sail on Fearless, a 48-foot (12-meter) ketch with capacity for up to 18 passengers. This 2.5-hour scenic journey on great Lake Taupo delivers you to the Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay (or Okuta Bay) while taking in the popular Te Kopua and Acacia bays en route.   The boat sails under a full mast or gently meanders, depending on wind and weather conditions; when waters are truly calm, a motor is used for power. Relax and enjoy the views or join in with rigging and hoisting the mainsail — it's up to you. Either way, you'll experience the romance of a sailing adventure aboard this graceful vessel.  Listen to commentary while you gaze at the Māori Rock Carvings, which are only accessible by water. You’ll get right up close to the rock face and have ample time to take in the intricacy of the large Māori figures. In the warmer months, bring your swimsuit and a towel, or upgrade your sailing tour with  Free music, wine, and pizza for an idyllic summer evening. You are also able to bring your own food and drinks with you, should you wish. Afterwards, return to the marina where you tour concludes.

$102.05 Water Sports

Tongariro River White Water Rafting Adventure from Taupo

You’ll start your unforgettable adventure with an on-shore safety briefing and paddle instructions with an experienced guide. You and the rest of the crew will then begin your white water rafting journey on grade 3 rapids – an ideal grade for experienced paddlers or first-time rafters.In 2.5 hours you navigate over 60 heart-pounding, roller coaster rapids with an expert guide at the helm. Throughout the trip you’ll be treated to sights only accessed by raft. Keep a look out for the elusive and native Blue Duck 'whio' that make these waters their home. Tongariro River Rafting is so dedicated to preserving the natural environment of the Tongariro River that they founded the Blue Duck Project – with the goal of returning the rare native Blue Duck to its traditional habitat along the Tongariro River.Includes: Deli-style meal in the summer, granny’s soup & thermal soak in the winter.Pick up from Taupo accommodation is available for 2pm trip in summer.

Lake Taupo Region in detail